Anaheim Ducks versus Los Angeles Kings
Brandon Worley: The Anaheim Ducks were not overly impressive against the Stars, were dominated at even strength and rode a hot power play into the second round. The Kings, meanwhile, know how to win. Kings in 5.
Huw: I wish neither of these teams get through to the Conference Finals but one of them has to. I'll go with Kings in five.
David: I really don't know that there's much between these teams, but karmic justice requires the Ducks get pummeled into the ice. Kings in 6.
Josh: Kings in 5
Brandon Bibb: The Kings will succeed in this series where the Stars failed. Chief among those areas, finishing. Kings in 6.
Erin: The Ducks aren't as good as they appear on the surface, and the Kings finally found their game as the Sharks let them win four straight. A week off is an awful long time as well, especially against a team that has finally put its game together. Kings in six.
Brad G: Does someone have to win? I'm still not sure what the Ducks did well against Dallas outside of a higher shooting percentage. Kings in 6.
Ismael: The Ducks showed in round one that they can be taken advantage of, while the Kings showed that they can hang with anyone at any point in a series or game. Kings in 5
Derek: Not only are the Kings a much better possession team, but they are also riding the momentum of a huge 4-3 comeback over San Jose. If Perry and Getzlaf can't solve Quick it won't go far. Kings in 5
Taylor: The Kings are feeling it. The Ducks didn't look that impressive in their series. Kings in 5
Minnesota Wild versus Chicago Blackhawks
Brandon Worley: The Wild have some goaltending decisions to make and while Corey Crawford is a bit controversial at times, he's solid behind a very deep team. Blackhawks in six.
Huw: I think the Blackhawks are too good to lose a series to the Wild. The Wild might have made it past Roy's Avs but the Blackhawks are a completely different case. I think they might push it further than I would expect though. Chicago in six.
David: Chicago had a tougher time with the Blues than I thought they would, but they started rolling and reeled off four straight in the end. Having done that against St. Louis, they should have no problem against Colorado and... wait, what the hell? Minnesota won? Not that there's much difference between the two. Exchanging one paper tiger for another. Chicago in 5.
Josh: Hawks in 4.
Brandon Bibb: Minnesota goes up against a defensive unit that doesn't completely rely on it's netminding and it's a repeat from the first round series last year. Hawks in 5.
Erin: The biggest upset on paper of the first round was also maybe the easiest to predict, as the Avalanche's habit of allowing tons of prime scoring chances and relying on offensive volume and goaltending brilliance finally caught up with them. The Hawks will be rusty early after a long break, but they're built for this time of year and it showed once they figured out the Blues. Hawks in five.
Brad G: I don't want to believe that the Wild are THAT much better than Dallas. So I won't. Blackhawks in 6 games.
Ismael: The Wild had an awesome first series and proved a lot to the league. They'll make it a tough one, but Chicago just has too much skill. Blackhawks in 7
Derek: Apparently two Cups in the last four years isn't enough for Chicago, who looked great against a strong Blues team. Minnesota played valiantly against Colorado, but is now in over their heads. Hawks in 5
Taylor: Minnesota got lucky, and Chicago is just too good. Blackhawks in 5.
Boston Bruins versus Montreal Canadiens
Brandon Worley: The Canadiens are lucky Ben Bishop was hurt. The Boston Bruins are the deepest team in the NHL. Bruins in six.
Huw: The Bruins are pretty good this year but the Habs dispatched the Lightning, admittedly Bishopless, in an impressive way. After the Bruins got pushed further than expected by the Redwings I think this one might be an upset. Montreal in six.
David: I like Montreal, I've gotta say it. Yes, they drew a relatively easy first-round matchup, what with Ben Bishop's injury and all, but a sweep is still impressive. But can they top Boston, who remain the team to beat in the East? *David flips a coin* Tails it is. Canadiens in 7.
Josh: Bruins in 5.
Brandon Bibb: Carey Price gives the Habs a shot in this series. But in the end, they'll fall just short in their upset bid. Bruins in 6.
Erin: The Habs had the most impressive first round victory, but their sweep of the Lightning is tempered by the fact that, well, the Lightning lacked their starting goalie. Boston started a little slow against the Red Wings but was a rolling juggernaut at the end. Bruins in five.
Brad G: The Bruins are havy favorites here, and for good reason- But rivalries and hatred create long series. Let's hope the NHL's divisional plan gives us what they intended, at least six games of nastiness. Bruins in 6.
Ismael: This is going to be a phenomenal matchup. Both teams are deep and versatile, but I think Montreal's speed gives them the edge over Boston. Habs in 6
Derek: Boston is undoubtedly the favorite here, but Montreal plays with structure and balance. Carey Price will help steal some games, but Boston is too powerful and will still prevail. Bruins in 6.
Taylor: I had my rooting interest in this series cemented thanks to a promise for some dark chocolate and peanut butter cookies. Bruins in 6.
Brandon Worley: I really could not care less about these two rather despicable and pretentious franchises (yeah, I said it) so I'll flip a coin and say Rangers in six because of Marc-Andre "OH CRAP IT'S THE PLAYOFFS HERE'S THE PUCK PLEASE DON'T SCORE OH WAIT YOU DID CRAP" Fleury. So, uh..Rangers in six.
Huw: The Penguins-Blue Jackets series was a wild one with all those 4-3 come back wins. It also shows that the Pens are in some weird place at the moment. I'm going to say the Rangers will win off the back of some solid goaltending from Lundquist while the series winning goal will come from some odd Fleury fumble. Rangers in six.
David: Yes, I picked the Penguins to get upset last round, and maybe they did, but not as far as the series results were concerned. I'm still not sold on them as a playoff team though. And maybe the only way they can fix that is by winning in the playoffs. Maybe this is their year... or not. Rangers in 6.
Josh: Rangers in 6.
Brandon Bibb: Meh, I hate both teams. But give me Rangers in 7.
Erin: Marc-Andre Fleury tried his hardest to give the series away against the Blue Jackets, and while I'm not all that sure the Rangers will have the firepower to keep him rattled, it's got to be at the back of the Penguins heads. Still, with a seven-game series against the Flyers, I think the Rangers take a while to get going in this one. Penguins in six
Brad G: Goaltending, right? The Rangers had impressive stretches of play against Philly and some that were...not so much. Still, you'd like to think Fleury is a big enough mess to make it interesting. Rangers in... seven!
Ismael: The Penguins are the overwhelming favorite but I strongly dislike them. So, Lundqvist steals this series - Rangers in 6.
Derek: Malkin and Crosby have been too quiet for too long. Fleury might give them fits in net, but this is the round where the big guns begin to fire. Lundqvist will keep the Rangers close, but not close enough. Penguins in 6.
Taylor: I don't think the Penguins collapse in this round as far as their goaltending is concerned, and I think their offense is nice and warm after the first round. I just don't think the Rangers can contain all those offensive threats. Penguins in 6.